‘The conditions were so bad that a lot of people refused.’
Corey “C-Murder” Miller has ended his hunger strike against the Louisiana State Penitentiary, but a new video shared with the Daily Dot illustrates the “inhumane” conditions he was protesting against. A source close to his team also tells the Daily Dot that the former rap star is facing retaliation for the strike by being denied visits, and another inmate claims the infamous prison is serving food contaminated with shards of glass.
Miller was on strike for over a week to protest his and other inmates’ living conditions this month. Miller is serving a life sentence after being convicted of murder in 2002, though he maintains his innocence. His story gained national attention when Master P, the well-known rapper and Miller’s brother, said on Instagram that the prison nicknamed “Angola” was a place of “injustice.” C-Murder recorded music on Master P’s No Limit Records.
A source close to C-Murder’s team, who asked to be referred to as Rochelle, shared video footage with the Daily Dot which she said was filmed inside the prison in early February by a “prison guard that wants to report anonymously.” The video shows trash littering the floor and toilets overflowing. Its authenticity has been independently verified by the Daily Dot.
The prisoner’s voice in the video has been altered to maintain his anonymity. He narrates the scene at the prison: “feces all over the sink, everywhere in the cell, all over the hallway, and everybody’s property all soaking wet.”
The video was taken while prisoners were told to clean up the flooding, according to the inmate.
“The conditions were so bad that a lot of people refused,” the inmate said in a phone interview with the Daily Dot. “Other people tried to clean it up with no gloves on, exposing us to all types of conditions that cause [contamination] problems.”
The Daily Dot made repeated attempts to speak with prison officials, but they have not yet responded.
The maximum-security prison—the largest of its kind by population in the U.S.—has a history of brutality toward inmates and corruption. A former major at the prison was found guilty in January of conspiring to cover up the beating of a handcuffed and shackled inmate, according to the Associated Press.
According to AllHipHop, who spoke to Miller, Angola authorities had the rapper handcuffed for days in “the hole,” and his hands swelled up so big that the cuffs had to be cut off. The anonymous inmate described “the hole” as a solitary “dungeon” where prisoners go for punishment and said there is one at every camp in the prison.
It was in the hole where the inmate said he was served a tray of food with ground-up glass. He sought medical attention for blood in his stool, and he claims medical personnel dismissed his concerns.
“The medical team did not find any reason why he had internal bleeding, which is typical,” Rochelle said. “The medical staff will say one thing about the reason why you’re sick, and it always end up being something else.” A few days later, the inmate says he discovered ground up-glass in his stool.
When Miller has complained to the guards about conditions, Rochelle said, he’s often thrown into the hole. She adds that it’s the dissenting prisoners who wind up with ground-up glass in their food.
Along with claims of corruption, the anonymous inmate also said cats, lizards, and spiders roam freely about the prison and that there are worms coming from the shower heads.
“An independent health department needs to investigate the prison system,” Rochelle said. “Outside medical staff need to evaluate inmate complaints.”
A lawsuit was filed on behalf of three death-row inmates last spring that criticized the prison’s practice of keeping death-row inmates in solitary confinement at all times. In early February, the Advocate reported that the state of Louisiana is not required to prevent heat indexes at the prison from topping 88 degrees. This decision, made by a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, overturned an earlier ruling made by a Baton Rouge federal judge.
“There is a real health issue inside these walls,” Rochelle said. “Some dogs live better.”